The departure of key players to the Thai League and Malaysian Super League has left United City FC (UCFC) without a choice but to beef up its lineup for the fifth season of the Philippine Football League (PFL), UCFC skipper and assistant coach Stephan Shrock admitted yesterday.
Those who have opted to seek greener pastures include midfielders OJ Porteria and Manny Ott and Dennis Villanueva.
The Filipino-German Ott inked a deal with Melaka United FC in Malaysia while Porteria and Villanueva hooked up with Ratchaburi FC and Nakhon Ratchasima FC in Thailand.
The recruitment of new platers is aimed towards the team’s stint in the AFC Champions League in March.
“The management and coaching are in talks, everything is set to add some new faces,” said Schrock, who bagged the PFL Golden Ball award last season.
“Obviously they are great players. Good persons and outstanding characters. It will be a challenge to replace them.”
The exodus of the three only should give the others to rise to the occasion.
Still, UCFC still has a lethal offensive combination led by Schrock, going alongside club’s all-time scorer Bienvenido Maranon and stalwarts Robert Lopez Mendy and Hikaru Menigishi.
“This gives other players the signal to step up their game. We are still hungry for the trophy.”
“Now we wanna win our fifth championship, and we will win it again. Historical things will happen this 2021,” Schrock added.